Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Mary Mease Warren, a Veteran Theater Designer and CMU graduate passed away July 14, 2007. She died from cancer. Mary Mease Warren was a New York stage designer with Broadway and TV credits. She is the mother of Gene Stovall of the hit band "Eviction Notice". I also had the chance to meet this remarkable woman. We hit it off right away as she shared with me that she was a costume designer for Kuntu Repertory Theatre. She gave me a brief bio of herself by mentioning that she's worked with the best from Esther Rolle to Phylicia Rashad.

FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS: Viewing will Thursday from 7pm-9pm and Friday 2pm-4pm & 7pm-9pm at Odell Robinson Funeral Home located at 2024 Perrysville Avenue, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 15214. The funeral is Saturday at 11am at Metropolitian Baptist Church located at 22 Sampsonia Way.

Mary Mease Warren has designed costumes for over onehundred professional productions throughout the UnitedStates, enjoying a career that began at the NegroEnsemble Company, in New York City, while still astudent. Her work has appeared on and off of Broadway,in regional theatres, and nationally televisedproductions. Locally, she has designed for thePittsburgh Playhouse, the Alleghenty County BarAssociation, The Red Barn Theatre, and the PittsburghPublic Theater.
A native Pittsburgher, Warren was proud to have donecostumes for the late August Wilson, which includedFences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, and Ma Rainey'sBlack Bottom in Pittsburgh at the Pittsburgh PublicTheater, now known as the O'Reilly Theater. With degrees in both Costume and Set Design fromCarnegie Mellon University, Warren shared her talentsand skills with young adults and children as aneducator. She taught Drama Studies at HowardUniversity Theatre Department in Washington, DC andTulane University in New Orleans, LA at the graduateand undergradute levels. She also taught costume andset design at LORT-East Profession Theatres, OhioUniversity, C.A.P.A. High School Theatre Department,and Northside Urban Pathways Charter School.

Mary Mease Warren returned to professional theatre in2007 to work with Dr. Vernell A. Lillie at the KuntuRepertory Theater. During her time at Kuntu, Warrenwas honored at the 4th Annual AACTA Onyx Awards forAfrican-Americans in Theatre and Dance for her costumedesign work on the musical "Sarafina!" Mary Mease Warren will be missed by her family, whichincluded sons Michael Paul Warren and Eugene ArthurStovall, daughter-in-law Erika Warren, grandchildrenMeredith, Michael, Nathaniel, and Amelia Warren,brothers Harland, Walter, Lee, John, Oscar, and Clyde,sisters Emogene and Leta Brandon, and many nieces andnephews.

-Carnegie-Mellon University: Master's DegreeProgram-Costume and Set Design 1973-1974.-Carnegie-Mellon University: Bachelor of Fine ArtsDegree-Drama 1969-1973.-Robert Morris Junior College: Liberal Arts Major1966-1968.-Langley High School: Academic Diploma 1960-1968.-Carnegie Museum Saturday Art Program 1958-1964.

-Developed successful, non-traditional, methods forteaching complicated, content materials to studentswith different learning and retention styles that ledto Honor Roll status for most.
-Mentored Middle and High School students tosuccessfully overcome barriers to college entry andemployment by coaching in Interviewing Skills, ResumePreparation, Career Goals, Life Skills, ConflictResolution, Anger Management, Diversity, Self-esteem,and Role Modeling. All of which provided solid basesfor successful personal endeavors.
-Sponsored Fundraising activities that activelyinvolved students, families, and communities, atcollege and secondary school level that generatedfinancial support as well as substantial goods andservices donated by merchants.
-Produced and Directed Eight productions thatprofitted over $18,000.
-Trained and mentored more than 12 student designerswho are now working professionals.
-Designed, bulit, and equipped Costume Shops at theNegro Ensemble Company, Tulane University, HowardUniversity, and CAPA High School with donations frombusinesses.
-Established working relationships with communityleaders that improved support for students sponsoredevents by increasing audience awareness of theimportance of the Arts.
-Coordinated Guest Artist and Speakers series at thehigh school and college levels to expose students tocareers in the Fine and Performance Arts presented bynationally known professionals.
Stage Preview: Mary Mease Warren gets back in the game for Kuntu season

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Brotha Ash Productions presents: Reverend James King - Spirit In The City

Not a WORD!
MARCH 2006:
The Christmas lights and trees are gone, but the bills aren't! The New Year Cheer and the resolutions have been made and they're also gone and so is the first two months of a new year. Where has it all gone, so fast, so futile, so dull and mundane for so many, and again its starts all over, again? A new year, life's a party and some people really believe that it's okay and it must go on as is. The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire, we don't need no water let the **** burn! The roof isn't what's on fire, but rest a sure there will definitely be a need for water and it won't be a roof, it will be more like the basement!There are too many preachers and crusaders more concerned with being on TV with their own personal agendas, then there are taking care of what really matters and what really counts! The people! Drug transactions still taking place right in front of the new Sr's apartments on Center Avenue, three blocks away from the police station and surrounded by churches, but not a WORD! There in the pulpit, but they've never really left the massa's house, there still the house nigger! But enough about some of the preachers still on the plantation.Unbelievable, unpredictable, unfathomable weather, babies burned, bagged, thrown away, seniors being left to die in the cold, forgotten, families burned up, burned out, shot up, shut out, kids and adults still killing each other, but life's a party and people really believe that it still must go on. All the heinous news that has been flooded into our homes, work places, churches, everywhere and some people really seem to believe that it's okay and must go on as is. All this and really there's been Not a WORD! There was a time that folk got together and made a statement, and took a real stand. Not anymore, folk just talk about what needs to be done, and relive and reenact what once was. But folks today, not a WORD! The world's media networks have given us everything but what we really need to hear, some Good News! I'd like to give you something that didn't make the news. This past Sunday, just like the Sunday of the Super Bowl, Not a WORD! Because there was a WORD! Two Christian coaches, it was great that they were African Americans, but that was just the icing on the cake, they were Christians first and they let the world know! But was it the topic of the lunch room, did you hear all about it on the bus ride to work, have you heard about it until you were sick of the super bowl? No! Not a WORD!This past Sunday the legendary evangelist Billy Graham with a crowd in attendance of 16,300 in the stadium. Led Those Saints down to Bourbon Street in the heart of New Orleans. One veteran officer said, he thought there was going to be a riot, but it turned into a revival, right there on Bourbon Street! Two hours after preacher Graham had left they were still having a HOLY GHOST party!Did you hear anything about this miracle, this life changing, life altering, life saving experience for those down on Bourbon street being saved? No! NOT A WORD! Life can be a party, but it's up to you which one you go to. <<>>"I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't, and find out there is." Albert L. Warren
Rev. James A. King Jr., PastorSecond Baptist Church East Liverpool, Ohio